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Silverstone - 15 July 2000


Weather/track: Cloudy/dry
Pos No Class Driver Car Time
kph mph
1 29 A Keith Ahlers +8 1:04.33   147.61 91.72
2 99 A Matthew Wurr +8 1:05.07 0.74 145.93 90.68
3 15 A Craig Jones +8 1:05.60 1.27 144.75 89.95
4 37 A Rick Lloyd +8 1:06.22 1.89 143.40 89.10
5 20 A Simon McDermott +8 1:06.37 2.04 143.07 88.90
6 16 A Malcolm Paul +8 1:06.41 2.08 142.99 88.85
7 13 B Chris Acklam +8 1:08.39 4.06 138.85 86.28
8 21 C James Paterson +8 1:08.62 4.29 138.38 85.99
9 1 B Peter Horsman +8 1:09.57 5.24 136.49 84.81
10 39 C Simon Orebi Gann +8 1:09.61 5.28 136.41 84.76
11 45 C Andy Green +8 1:11.05 6.72 133.65 83.05
12 25 C Dan Ward +8 1:11.41 7.08 132.98 82.63
13 49 C Paul Chauveau +8 1:11.68 7.35 132.47 82.32
14 55 B Philip McKelvey +8 1:11.72 7.39 132.40 82.27
15 71 D Kelvin Laidlaw +8 1:12.97 8.64 130.13 80.86
16 51 E Alan Wickenden 4/4 1:13.43 9.10 129.32 80.35
17 66 B Tony Howard SLR 1:13.78 9.45 128.70 79.97
18 17 D Jack Bellinger +8 1:13.90 9.57 128.49 79.84
19 52 D Ian Hepburn +8 1:14.58 10.25 127.32 79.12
20 57 B James Bellinger 4/4 1:15.35 11.02 126.02 78.31
21 7 D Mary Lindsay +8 1:16.13 11.80 124.73 77.50
22 22 E Barry Sumner 4/4 1:20.57 16.24 117.86 73.23
23 18 E John Clarke +4SS 1:21.48 17.15 116.54 72.42

Silverstone - 15 July 2000


Weather/track: Cloudy/dry
Pos No Class Driver Car Race time
Laps Behind
mph lap on mph
1 29 A Keith Ahlers +8 15:18.15 12   77.12 1:05.04 7 90.72
2 16 A Malcolm Paul +8 15:20.08 12 01.93 76.96 1:06.09 6 89.28
3 15 A Craig Jones +8 15:21.44 12 03.29 76.84 1:05.90 12 89.54
4 13 B Chris Acklam +8 15:34.80 12 16.65 75.74 1:08.07 6 86.68
5 21 C James Paterson +8 15:46.31 12 28.16 74.82 1:09.75 9 84.59
6 55 B Philip McKelvey +8 16:00.22 12 42.07 73.74 1:10.56 12 83.62
7 25 C Dan Ward +8 16:01.70 12 43.55 73.62 1:10.78 11 83.36
8 45 C Andy Green +8 16:02.14 12 43.99 73.59 1:10.55 12 83.63
9 49 D Paul Chauveau +8 16:16.74 12 58.59 72.49 1:11.19 11 82.88
10 51 E Alan Wickenden 4/4 16:25.66 12 1:07.51 71.83 1:13.22 7 80.58
11 66 B Tony Howard SLR 16:26.99 12 1:08.84 71.74 1:13.61 11 80.16
12 17 D Jack Bellinger +8 16:27.71 12 1:09.56 71.69 1:13.50 8 80.28
13 52 D Ian Hepburn +8 16:29.91 12 1:11.76 71.53 1:13.49 11 80.29
14 57 B James Bellinger 4/4 16:30.22 12 1:12.07 71.50 1:13.06 11 80.76
15 18 E John Clarke +4SS 16:30.68 12 1:12.53 71.47 1:13.98 7 79.76
16 7 D Mary Lindsay +8 16:33.62 12 1:15.47 71.26 1:14.61 7 79.08
17 22 E Barry Sumner 4/4 16:05.98 11 1 lap 67.19 1:21.06 9 72.79

Not classified

  37 A Rick Lloyd +8   5     1:07.17 5 87.84
  1 B Peter Horsman +8              
  39 C Simon Orebi Gann +8              
  71 D Kelvin Laidlaw +8              

Silverstone - 15 July 2000

Fastest laps

  mins:secs on kph mph
  A Keith Ahlers +8 1:05.04 7 146.00 90.72
Lap record  B Chris Acklam +8 1:08.07 6 139.50 86.68
Lap record  C James Paterson +8 1:09.75 9 136.14 84.59
Lap record  D Ian Hepburn +8 1:13.49 11 129.21 80.29
Lap record  E Alan Wickenden 4/4 1:13.22 7 129.69 80.58

Lap Records

  mins:secs   kph mph
09-Aug-97 A Peter Garland +8 1:04.48   147.27 91.51
07-Aug-99 B Rick Lloyd +8 1:17.96   121.80 75.68
07-Aug-99 C James Paterson +8 1:18.74   120.60 74.94
07-Aug-99 D Peter Horsman +8 1:21.47   116.56 72.42
07-Aug-99 E John Clarke +4 1:23.31   113.98 70.82

Ahlers sweet Silverstone success

Silverstone - 15 July 2000

Once again race day dawned cloudy and overcast, but fortunately dry, for the 750 Motor Club meeting. Our intepid band rolled through scrutineering with the exception of Craig Jones, who had quickly to mend his indicators before he passed muster, and Simon Orange McDermott, whose fire extiguisher was disliked by the man with the tick sheet. Most other competitors merely had to point out to the scrutineer which end of the car the engine lay and were awarded a pass with distinction. Craig, Tony Howard, Malcolm Paul and Barry Sumner were all rejoining the series after fairly long absences so there was a lot of catching up to do as well as the normal Championship manoeuvring going on.

As usual, Keith Ahlers managed to lead everyone out to practice. His subsequent lap times reveal this to be a good ploy as he finished on pole, so perhaps the race series gentlemen will be cutting each other up on the way to practice in future as well as on the track. But it may be remembered that Peter Garland (yes I know we haven’t seen him much this season) is usually unloading his car or thinking about putting his overalls on when everyone else has gone and he manages good lap times, so perhaps upon reflection drivers had better stick to their own strategies.

Practice again revealed lots of problems for all sorts of drivers. Your reporter and other supporters were treated to two dust cloud performances, and keen readers may remember that your observant hack mentioned that she would be taking notes on such misdemeanours last week. It was Andy Green taking Copse too fast and struggling to find the track as he exited the bend. He was skillful enough to keep going with only his ego terminally embedded in the gravel, leaving Mary Lindsay to speculate about the nature of the incident which had left so much dust as she drove through wiping her visor, wondering if she had joined a Sumner desert rally in error. Once Andy Green had worked out where the track ended and the gravel began at Copse, he felt a bit better and qualified in 11th place. Mary herself was having problems finding the right gear for the hairpins and rather over-revved her engine in the process, but it didn’t stop her qualifying just behind Jack on the grid and in front of John Clarke and Barry Sumner. John C managed to complete his three qualifying laps before retiring to the pits with spark plugs full of oil.

Simon McD. qualified 5th in front of the returning Malcolm Paul, but at a price. He limped in with a broken back bearing in the gear box and a snapped rear exhaust, to call it a day, pack up his toys and resign himself to the role of honorary spectator. Craig Jones clocked some respectable lap times to find himself in third place on the grid, but after practice solved the mystery of his car’s unusual feel when he discovered that he had inadvertantly put his back tyres on the wrong way round. Silverstone wasn’t as hairy as he had thought after all.

Still the tales of woe continued; Daniel Ward reported losing power on the corners and a clanking noise could be heard emanating from his car, James Paterson was driving with a bent chassis, Rick’s car, although improved, was still causing him to struggle with its lack of grip out of the bends, Tony Howard lost his catch tank and someone else ran it over, Kelvin’s new axle was giving him oversteer problems [that is most certainly on my list of excuses, indeed I even use it myself!] and Matthew W. reported that his car was not pulling at maximum revs down the back straights, while he felt a bit defeated by Keith’s outperforming him in testing the previous day. Ian Hepburn summed up the feelings of many of the drivers, but not their much younger spouses, when he said that his main and indeed ongoing problem was that his car was able to go much faster than himself.

What of the others? Well, to a man they enjoyed themselves. Chris Acklam clocked a good time, Malcolm Paul took it easy as it was his first outing for 9 months, Bellingers Jack and Billy had good times, although Billy had to report to the clerk of the course because he had neglected to attend the new drivers’ briefing. Fortunately, he who must be obeyed was an old sparring partner of Jack and seemed to know him quite well, arising from various conversations they had shared together in the past. Whilst back in the pits, Jack was hoping for his son’s pocket to have been raided, Billy (with a great presence of mind clearly inherited from his mother) asked the fine to be put on his father’s tab.

Peter H. got within a second and a bit of Acklam, with Simon OG a whisker behind him. Paul Chauveau certainly looked the part in Martin K’s old car, and revelled in his new-found speed and thus his ability to overtake Mary, Kelvin and Jack without serving the necessary apprenticeship. Alan Wickenden outclassed himself again, while Barry Sumner just tootled around having a good time in one of the cars which started the series in the early eighties. There was a rumour that he was in the old be-skinned custard car for a particular reason but your scribe has totally forgotten what that was, thanks to a generous contribution to her haute couture fund.

The fun began in earnest as practice ended. John C. was aided by the class E championship contenders and supporters to mend his suffering car. Tony Howard eventually supplied him with the necessary spark plugs from his mobile garage. Rick Lloyd’s car found itself in its customary jacked up position with Chris beneath it, Matthew et al tried to rebuild the red car, but were eventually defeated by a broken tooth in the gear box and sadly they too packed up their toys and went home, leaving others to try to catch and overtake Keith. Craig reversed his tyres and everyone else adjusted their brakes and made invaluable changes to their cars.

Not content with just one race, four of our series, Keith, Rick, Malcolm and Chris A. took part in the H.R.Owen Roadsports race. To the delight of the M.M.C.C. drivers and supporters, Keith won and after a ding-dong battle with a rudely quick Lotus Elise, Rick took second place. Malcolm and Chris followed the Elise across the line in that order but with a tin-top in between them.

After a suitable interval allowing the four to rebuild their cars for the second time, the Morgans lined up for their M.M.C.C. race with hopes riding high. Keith had lost his main rival, the unfortunate Wurr, and Horsman and Orebi-Gann had both put in close and fast times to be near Acklam and Paterson. Andy Green, Ward, Chauveau and McKelvey were really close with Laidlaw delighted to have outqualified J. Bellinger for the first time. All went well for the green flag lap and then they were off in earnest.

Keith had a poor start allowing Rick to lead as they came down the pit straight. Clearly anxious to win, Keith took him at Copse and that was that.

Paterson overtook Acklam at the start but Chris quickly put him back in his place. Orebi-Gann and Horsman were fighting for every inch as Simon shot off to a good start. Philip M used his skills as a sprint racer to good effect as he started 14th on the grid but held 7th place at the end of the first lap. Everyone tore off down the pit straight with Kelvin ahead of Jack, with Alan close behind him. Green and Ward were hardly separated, closely followed by Mary, Howard, Hepburn and Clarke. Fortunately for her, your reporter was with a large group of supporters in the Copse stand and was only able to hear news of the ‘incidents’ occurring at Brooklands. The commentators reported that Morgans were spinning and dust flying sufficiently to get once the quartered flags flying. Ahlers led an obedient field around the track for two laps before racing restarted.

The assembled band of supporters were running practiced eyes over the passing cars to work out who was missing. With the gradual realisation that a certain ivory car was missing, your reporter knew that some excuses were being formulated in some gravel trap especially with her in mind. Your Esteemed Champion had fallen from grace big time in trying to whip up the inside of an early braking, and unfortunately an early turning-in, Orebi-Gann. Peter punted Simon, and perhaps fortunately himself also, off the track to the gravel trap and later the panel-beater’s shed! Simon graciously accepted Peter’s apologies. Kelvin coming upon the dust had braked and then found himself in turn shunted off the track by the fast-charging Bellinger. Jack survived but left Kelvin to muse upon events from the indignity of the gravel trap. All three must have been hoping for a re-start but the clerk of the course was rather more inclined to fly quartered flags so it was not to be. Wickenden also sailed into the gravel avoiding Jack and Kelvin but managed to leave it.

Racing recommenced after two parade laps and was questionably extended by two laps. Malcom Paul overtook Jones on lap seven and although Craig was benefiting from his tyres being correctly positioned, two years racing other marques meant that he was unable to catch Paul down the straights and so he stayed behind him to finish a credible third.

John Clarke moved steadily up the grid holding 10th place for three laps but then Wickenden and Chauveau overtook on lap 8 and Clarke fell back down the field to finish 15th. At various points in the race it seemed that both of the championship contenders were being outclassed. But at the end it seemed that Ian Hepburn took the fastest lap in class D by one hundredth of a second which would mean that Alan Wickenden takes the lead in the Championship.

Paul Chauveau dropped two places at the start but got to grips with his new beast as the race progressed moving up the field from lap 5 onwards to finish in 9th place. Chris Acklam got well ahead of Paterson after the ‘re-start’ to finish almost 12 seconds ahead of the agricultural chassis.

On lap 5, the commentators reported that Lloyd was having a lapse of concentration as his back end slewed out wildly (even for Rick) into Brooklands. It transpired that Rick’s lapse of concentration was not spotting a tin tack on the track doing 130 mph (not bad for a tin tack) and this caused the rapid deflation of his rear offside tyre. Rick retired to the pits.

Barry Sumner continued on his way unbothered by the events unfolding before him, only regretting his lack of cylinders and passing the time speculating on the Black Sheep’s state of readiness for Lydden. But in front of him, there were quite a number of battles raging. Tony Howard, reunited with his oil catcher, moved from 17th place on the grid to 11th on the first lap, a position which he held until lap 7 when he was overtaken by Paul C, on lap 8 by Clarky and on lap 9 by Jack. At this point Tony got the bit back between his teeth re-taking Clarke and Mary on lap 10 and Bellinger Snr. on the last lap to finish in his original first lap place of eleventh. Billy Bellinger even had a speculative nibble at his old man but then thought wisely that this might bring not only his race but his entire racing career to a premature halt in the gravel pit of life.

Mary had a splendid race to begin with, making up 11 places by the end of the first lap and holding onto places 10 and 9 until lap 9 when she started falling back to finish 16th with an engine that was suffering from the practice over-revving. She only had another 225 miles to go by the finish and John L did not reckon his chances of getting home with clean fingernails frightfully highly. It was a shame that the engine chose to misbehave at this particular moment since she was leading her class up until then.

In front of that lot was another dice between Messrs McKelvey, Ward and Green. These three clung to one another like limpets, with McKelvey always fractionally in the lead. Green overtook Ward on lap 8 but Dan re-took him on lap 10 and managed to hold the lead until the flag. Their approach to the bends, the going round of the bends and then the chase down the straights were as entertaining to the crowd as to themselves.

Billy Bellinger was recovered enough from his encounter with the Clerk of the Course earlier in the day to enjoy his second race, starting 20th and finishing14th thus holding his place and car on the track. Your newly impoverished reporter wishes that some of the more experienced and perhaps by the time you read this, chastened, drivers particularly well known to her, would take note.

And so Keith led the field to the chequered flag with Malcolm less than two tenths of a second behind and Craig one tenth behind him. Chris took yet another class win and fastest lap putting him in joint second place for the championship with Jack. James came fifth, again taking a class win and fastest lap. Jack finished as leader of class D with Alan winning class E and taking the class’ fastest lap, ahead of five contenders from supposedly faster classes and with a faster lap time than them all.

Mechanics, tyres and gear boxes permitting, the next race at Snetterton should prove an exciting event as the championship pressure mounts. Let’s hope for fine weather, fewer mechanical problems (there will be fewer driver problems since your scribe’s spouse will be on other, more familial duties), a good grid and drivers keeping on the track without bodywork touching.

Ruth Horsman